Wednesday, October 17, 2012

     Sports transcends the pulse of the nation. Sports integrated blacks and whites long before they were legally. Recently, I was privileged enough to hear Larry Lester, a very well known and respected Negro League Historian, speak at Temple. He has written many books, and in particular one about the Classic that this article talks about.
     Before this time, blacks were seen as inferior in every way shape or form. However, with some of the best talents that could be found in the country, they could no longer be seen as inferior. From a business standpoint at least, the black athlete had to be respected.
     The Classic was an event that kept the headlines hot, and the people coming to the games. That is until the "Jackie Robinson beat" occurred. That was the story that sold, so therefore drew the attention of the black media. No longer was the media able to hold together the league, and push for it as far as they could. They reached a goal of integration, but were not out of the water yet. The media felt it more important to cover the players that did instead of continuing to put the Negro leagues in good light to further advance some of those players.
     This is one of the functions of journalism. The media has the ability to decide what is the most relevant story. Blacks were not able to thrive in sports on just their talents. They needed that extra boost in order to hope to achieve any real success. However, they were left to die along with the Negro League as black baseball was overshadowed by the Major Leagues. The Classic, an event once seen as the best baseball in the country, became something of little to no relevance. The media certainly helped the demise of black baseball as this country knew it.

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